Nazi Germany Had 42,500 Camps – "Worse Than Ever Thought"
On March 3, 2013, Erich Lichtblau reported in a New York Times article titled "The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking" on recent research into the "Holocaust" as presented at a panel discussion at the German Historical Institute (GHI), which was organized in cooperation with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). In our illustration to the right we can see the GHI-Panelists Martin Dean, Omer Bartov, Hartmut Berghoff, Sybille Steinbacher and Geoffrey Megargee. During the discussion, researchers reported having cataloged some 42,500 German ghettos and camps throughout Europe.
GHI Director Hartmut Berghoff, quoted in the Times, noted that this number was "much higher than what we originally thought." Some years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the task of documenting all the ghettos, labor sites and concentration camps that the National Socialists had set up throughout Europe.
Hartmut Berghoff (since April 2008 Director at the German Historical Institute GHI, Washington, DC) and Geoffrey Megargee, a researcher at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in the USHMM, stated:
"Most people are unaware of the full extent of the Nazi camp and ghetto system. Behind the well-known names, such as Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka and Warsaw, there was a vast universe of facilities, more than 42,000 of them, that formed the heart of the Nazi regime."
The project lead researchers, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of their multi-volume Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945.
"You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps, P.O.W. camps, concentration camps," he said. "They were everywhere."
While the task of accumulating data and examining it seems a basic scientific endeavor, it is necessary to fully understand the issues involved. For this we need to remember that during WWII Germany was forced to fight a war against the entire world, which was out not only to eliminate the "Nazis," but Germany and the German people as such. It was a world war of extermination against the German nation. In that desperate situation, Germany sent almost every German man capable of holding a weapon to the front, whereas millions of foreigners, most of them voluntarily, but many of them also coerced, worked in Germany's offices, factories and on German farms to replace the missing German male labor force.
The question arises: Where were these millions of foreigners housed, and how were they treated?
As the war progressed, Germany faced an increasing housing shortage, not at least caused by the Allies' genocidal bombing campaign. It goes without saying that placing these millions of almost exclusively male foreigners in crammed German households among the German maidens whose men were fighting and dying by the millions at the front was no option. Hence most of these foreign laborers were housed in makeshift barracks or labor camps close to the enterprises where they were working. Germany was littered with factories, and so it was littered with labor camps close to them – thousands upon thousands.
The next question is: were these housing units really "terror camps"?
The late Hans-Jürgen Witzsch, once a history teacher in Bavaria, Germany, and founder of the "Arbeitskreis für Zeitgeschichte und Politik" (Work Group Contemporary History and Politics), has taken a closer, skeptical look into the nature of many of these 42,500 "terror" camps already in the 1990s. In 1999 he published a paper on it, which in 2003 also appeared in an English edition: "Foreign Workers in the Third Reich". I may quote only a few sentences from his trail-blazing work:
Although now 14 years old, Witzsch's paper annihilates the USHMM's fraudulent claims in an instant and exposes their Encyclopedia as a mere work of propaganda designed to further the goals of Shoah business: the more camps, inmates, terror and suffering, the more attention, "reputation," "moral superiority," political sway and money the Lobby can get. The Holocaust, Zionism's Sword and Shield, is being wielded again, and how dare anybody stand in its way!
"In order to fill millions of free work places, which became vacant by the widening of the war, the employment of millions of foreign workers was required. Contrary to concentration camp inmates and POWs, the foreign workers usually came voluntarily to Germany for work. [...]
Although during wartime it became very difficult for companies especially in German cities to ensure suitable accommodations for the foreign workers as a result of the destruction of residences by the allied carpet bombings, the results of the joint efforts by the German authorities and company managements were astounding. [...]
Several testimonies mention a camp contest, during which a prize for the most beautiful camp of the district and its areas was awarded on an annual basis. [...]
[...] at the end of the war there were more workers from abroad working in the Reich than there are foreigners in Germany today."
As revisionist research dismantles one mainstream legend after the other, the orthodox version of the so-called Holocaust is suffering a complete metamorphosis into a mythical entity.
German-language media coverage:
- Interview with GHI Director Hartmut Berghoff on the surprising findings of the USHMM encyclopedia: "Die Deutschen konnten sehen: Hier passieren schreckliche Dinge," Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 7, 2013
- ZDF television interview with GHI Director Hartmut Berghoff, "Mehr Straflager als gedacht," ZDF Morgenmagazin, March 6, 2013
- Katja Tichomirowa, "Viel mehr Lager als gedacht," Frankfurter Rundschau, March 6, 2013
- ZDF television reportage featuring GHI Fellow Stefan Hördler: "Neue Studie 42.000 Orte des Schreckens," ZDF heute journal, March 5, 2013
- Deputy Director Uwe Spiekermann and Research Fellow Stefan Hördler interviewed on the implications of the USHMM Encyplopedia: Stefan Koch, "Neue Studie deckt Netz der 42.500 Nazi-Lager auf," Hannoverische Allgemeine Zeitung, March 5, 2013
- Sven Felix Kellerhoff, "Nazis unterhielten mehr als 42.000 Gefängnisse," Die Welt, March 4, 2013
- Bernhard Schulz, "US-Forscher: 42.500 Lager in der Nazizeit," Der Tagesspiegel, March 3, 2013
- "Mehr als 40.000 Nazi-Zwangslager in Europe," Die Zeit, March 2, 2013
International media coverage:
- "Worse than the world ever imagined: True scale of the Holocaust revealed as it's discovered Nazis created 42,500 camps and ghettos to persecute Jews - not 7,000 as previously thought," Daily Mail, March 2, 2013
- Michael Walsh, "New Study says Holocaust infrastructure was far larger than thought: 42,500 sites across Europe," New York Daily News, March 2, 2013
- "Holocaust Researchers Catalog 42,500 Nazi Ghettos, Camps; Numbers Are 'Unbelievable'," The Huffington Post, March 2, 2013
- Sacha Kester, "Nazikampen en getto's in Europa in kaart gebracht: aantallen 'ongelofelijk hoog'," de Volkskrant, March 2, 2013
- "U.S. review raises extent of Holocaust," UPI, March 3, 2013
- "Timur Moon, "Nazis May Have Built 42,000 Death Camps, Not 7,000," International Business Times, March 3, 2012
- "Holocaust sites numbered 42,500," The New Zealand Herald, March 4, 2013
- "Nazis may have killed up to 20m, claims 'shocking' new Holocaust study," The Telegraph, March 4, 2013
- Sarah Pinard, "Une étude revoit à la hausse le nombre de camps nazis," Le Figaro, March 5, 2013